The chief executive of Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky operation, has hit out at the Scottish Government’s minimum unit pricing policy on alcohol.
Christian Porta, who has run Chivas Brothers for eight years and sits on the board of the Scotch Whisky Association, said the newly introduced policy was illegal and unlikely to have any effect.
He told the Herald newspaper earlier this month: “We get the impression this Government is more about promoting headline grasping, and measures like minimum unit pricing which we do not believe is going to have an effect, than working with the industry.
“We believe it is going to be ineffective. It is not going to solve the problem of excessive consumption by a minority of the population. We believe it is illegal.”
The SWA has voiced concerns that the move may lead to other countries using health grounds to justify import tarriffs and other restrictions. They are said to be considering a European legal challenge.
The Scottish Government, however, claim their policy is legal under health grounds.